The headlines this year were full of failing or dead brands, from Circuit City and Max Factor to Pontiac and Saturn. (For more about eight major brand failures, see CNN Money's wrap-up.) And let's have several mournful moments of silence for the defunct newspapers and magazines—the Rocky Mountain News, Gourmet, I.D., and many others.
But my own Brands of the Year list isn't a eulogy; it's a salute to brands that survived (sometimes despite serious damage) and made us look, talk, and think.
For a longer view, see my Brands of the Decade: 2000-2009 post.
In alphabetical order: